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Edge of the Rock Plein Air Competition Day 1

June 14, 2012

Plein Air may 30 – Toward the Pump House; Oil on Canvas Panel 11″ x 14″

 

I registered to participate in the Edge of the Rock Plein Air competition. The competition was in Beloit Wisconsin. The town is about 20 miles away, but with this areas  competence at coordinating the timing of traffic signals, it takes more than thirty five minutes to get there.

On the first day, I had to stop by the visitors center to get my canvases stamped. Stamping the canvases is their way of verifying that the painting was created during this competition. One challenge is that the center is open for stamping canvases between 9am – 11 am, a prime time for painting. So after getting checked in, canvases stamped, getting a map of the official areas to paint, I headed off to find my subject and get painting. So after cruising the sites, finding a spot for today’s painting, and setting up to paint, it was a little after 10am.

The spot I located was quiet, so that was nice. Occasionally people would walk or drive past, but otherwise I was able to work undisturbed. A challenge occurred. The sky was changing constantly and somewhat dramatically. It went from a few clouds, to thick cloud cover and back again. It became difficult for me to hold my initial vision. Then, because of the lateness of my start, as I got past the noon hour, the lighting on my scene also changed.

After another stop at the visitors center to use the restroom, I ventured over to Beloit College to scope out the possibilities there. By now the clouds were moving on and the sun was making it’s way through. I stumbled around the campus and finally found a spot which I felt could work. I started on the painting, but after analyzing the block in, I determined that this design would not work (could have worked as a watercolor, but not an oil).

I decided to call it a day and head home to clean off the last painting, my palette, brushes, and set a game plan for the next day.

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